October 25, 2020

St. Mary’s Hospital has received two awards from an Ontario agency focused on saving lives through organ and tissue donation for increasing the number of people willing to donate their organs.

The increase in donor rates means the hospital was able to save 28 organs from six donors. This increase meant 24 patients could then have a transplant.  This improvement led the hospital to win The Provincial Conversion Rate Award from the Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN).

The network aims to see 63 per cent of actual donors for end-of-life care from the pool of potential eligible donors; on this metric the hospital’s conversion rate achieved 75 per cent.

Carly Blaire, a nurse and co-chair of the St. Mary’s Organ and Tissue Donation Committee, said the increase in donors is “a real testament to how all different teams come together to optimize potential patients to become donors.”

“The goal for us … is early identification of potential donors.”

In an interview, she said hospital staff “take a lot of ownership in wanting to make sure that those patients and their families are really well cared for.”

“Hidden Heroes” of the catheterization lab team and OR team with Dr. Frank Reinders (right). Kitchener, Ont., on Sept. 24, 2019. (Photo credit: Arianna Ongaro)

The hospital also received The Hidden Hero award which comes from teams such as nursing staff and operating room staff nominating one another.  

”To be able to nominate one another kind of just brings a sense of camaraderie,” Blaire said.

Blaire urges members of the public to talk to their loved ones about organ donation and end-of-life wishes.

If you or anyone you know would like to be a donor, register via www.beadonor.ca or with your next driver’s license renewal.

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